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Nation at a Glance

Diplomats back after tit-for-tat expulsion

Wagah (PTI): Four Indian high commission officials, including three diplomats, who were expelled by Pakistan on Thursday, returned through the Wagah border this afternoon.

Consul Vipin Handa, attache Vakil Ramdas, second secretary R.P. Singh and embassy staff member P. Sundaram drove from Islamabad and reached the border post at 2 pm.

Pakistan had asked them to leave within 48 hours on Thursday, a day after New Delhi expelled four Pakistani diplomats for spying. The families of the diplomats have been allowed a week to leave Islamabad.

Handa said employees of the Indian mission in Pakistan were subjected to tight surveillance at every step and feared harassment at the hands of Pakistani intelligence agencies.

“Our families are not supposed to leave home and move out freely,” Handa said. “Attending a social function without being harassed by Pak intelligence agencies has, of late, become a distant dream.... Our families have to face volley of questions from intelligence agencies if anyone of us is found attending social gatherings,” he said.

Army schools on Lashkar hit list

Srinagar (PTI): Less than a week after militants threatened Muslim women to quit government jobs or face death, Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Pakistan-based militant outfit, has asked teachers in army schools in Jammu and Kashmir to leave their jobs or attract its wrath.

“Teachers in army schools should leave jobs and try to earn their livelihood somewhere else. Otherwise, they will be targeted. Parents should also withdraw their children from these schools,” a Lashkar statement in a local daily said.

“Teachers and parents will be responsible for losses suffered by the institutions in the event of an attack by militants,” the statement said. “It is a fact that these institutions were set up to preach Hindutva and eliminate jihad,” it said.

On January 20, the Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islamia had threatened Muslim women in the state to quit government jobs or face “death”.

House collapse toll rises to 4

Mumbai (PTI): The death toll in the building collapse in the Fort area of south Mumbai has risen to four with two more persons succumbing to injuries, police said.

The two who died late on Friday night have been identified as Ramesh Krishna Bhosale, 44, and Jaya Chandra, 28. Sabba Mansoor, 15, and Vidya Jaiswal, 32, were killed on the spot. At least five of the 17 injured were in critical condition. Fire brigade officials ended rescue operations on Saturday morning.

MLA’s father held

Lucknow (PTI): Uday Pratap Singh, father of jailed Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, was arrested from his Pratapgarh home in connection with criminal cases. “Singh was arrested from his Kunda residence with a sophisticated weapon,” the district magistrate said.

9/11 suspects

Hyderabad (PTI): Azmath Javed and Ayub Ali Khan, the two Indian nationals who were arrested by the FBI immediately after the September 11 terror attacks in the US, reached home after serving a jail term in New York. They were absolved of terror charges but found involved in a credit card fraud.

Khare visits Tihar

New Delhi (PTI): Chief Justice V.N. Khare visited Tihar Jail and promised steps to decongest the prison, which holds over 12,000 inmates. On his maiden visit to the prison to “have an overview of prison reforms and witness functioning of special courts” set up in the jail, Khare favoured enlarging the jurisdiction of these courts.

Girl run over

Sonepat (PTI): A student of Janata Senior Secondary School was killed when her bicycle was hit by a truck at Ganaur town.

Ramadoss apology

Chennai (PTI): Madras High Court has dropped suo motu contempt of court proceedings against PMK leader S. Ramadoss after he tendered an unconditional apology and offered to withdraw a petition seeking to modify a scheme drawn up by the high court to run the P.T. Lee Chengalvarayan Trust.

An Indian trade and cultural jamboree featuring a food festival and Bollywood extravaganza will be held in Malaysia from June 6 to 9. It will is organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation, the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and Ficci.


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